Swirl – The Lift
Swirl’s latest single continues their upward trajectory since releasing their self titled EP and landing three of the aforementioned collection’s songs on the soundtrack of an award winning major motion picture with 2017’s Ditch Day. “The Lift” is cut from a similar cloth as those earlier songs in the sense that it delivers an essentially positive message while avoiding any of the hamfisted histrionics so prevalent in music like this. Swirl brings a clearly high level of musicianship to their work, but it’s to their credit as players and composers that the music remains accessible despite their obvious skill set. They play hard rock like it’s supposed to be played – with swagger – and the intelligence of their approach is an appealing benefit to their potential as an unit. If Swirl isn’t working at the peak of their powers, “The Lift”” finds them near it.
The edited version of this tune doesn’t appear to be missing anything that might otherwise make it a startlingly better song. It definitely has a lot of commercial elements that should play out well on various radio outlets and influence sales – reflected in its melodic guitar work courtesy of D.T. Jones, the strong lead vocal from Alfred Ramirez, and a smattering of harmony backing vocals adorning a number of points in the tune. Swirl are capable of delivering convincing hard rock while still exerting an aura of pop appeal never sacrificing any of their desired gravitas. “The Lift” demonstrates their sharp songwriting instincts, as well, because even with an additional thirty seconds or so added, this is still a very focused and no frills tune that never puts a foot wrong. Jones’ guitar playing is the real musical star of the performance thanks to stinging licks he only hinted at with the band’s self-titled EP, but the contributions of drummer Brian Jones and bass player Shane Carlson are equally important.
Lead singer Alfred Ramirez obviously has tremendous chemistry with these guys, as evidenced by the aforementioned self-titled EP, and it continues with “The Lift”. There’s no self consciousness at all in the way he puts over the songwriting and he crafts his approach to the lyrics in such a way that it accentuates the instruments rather than existing separate from them and their effects. The song is never overwritten in any way. Every word is put down with an ear towards its usefulness within this musical framework and much of the content has a percussive quality that makes it perfect for the singing. Hard rock fans can take heart in the continued persistence of the genre thanks to bands like Swirl and they set themselves apart from the typical sort of band working in this style – a necessary move if the band intends to continue doing the striking original work they’ve produced with “The Lift”. It’s the band’s best single yet and shows an exponential amount of growth compared to their most recent efforts.